In my last blog, I talked about how my husband sustained a sudden hearing loss. From the time David was a child, his ears tended to be his weak link. Whenever he got a cold, it turned into a full-blown ear infection so we, of course, thought his loss was temporary. However, after an extensive investigation for a cure, it became obvious that the loss was permanent.
Since David was young (37) and had good discrimination potential, his hearing loss didn’t seem to play much of a role in his or our lives but as his age increased and the hearing loss became more severe, the loss has become more of an issue.
Despite wearing the best technology, David has difficulty understanding especially in noisy environments. He’s such an easy going person that he prefers to “roll with it” instead of making his hearing loss the topic of conversation when he misses something.
During a recent encounter when I wasn’t as patient as I should have been and accused David of not listening when he misinterpreted something for what seemed to be the 100th time, it was obvious that I had hurt his feelings. David looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “I don’t do it on purpose. You have no idea what’s it’s like to live with a hearing loss!” I felt awful because I knew he was right.
This situation is exactly why OTC hearing aids will never work for David or the majority of people with hearing loss. No CARE involved.
Hearing loss is complicated and THE INTERNET OR AN OTC DEVICE WILL NEVER REPLACE A CARING PROFESSIONAL. BUT we have to work harder to complete outcome measure and to find new tools to do more for our patients. As long as we provide the BEST for our patients and we CARE, our profession will always be needed!